"Evolution: The First Four Billion Years" is the name of a new, nearly 1,000-page book edited by Joseph Travis, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Biological Science and dean of Florida State's College of Arts and Sciences, and Michael Ruse, the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and director of the university's Program in the History and Philosophy of Science.Ruse' presence will necessarily add a metaphysical element to the book, which he, as much, admits:
Working together over more than six years, Travis and Ruse enlisted some of the world's top scholars from a variety of fields — genetics, paleontology, epidemiology, theology and philosophy, to name a few — to write a series of "big picture" essays describing their particular areas of expertise as they relate to evolution. What emerges is a multifaceted picture of what is perhaps the most discussed and debated scientific concept of the past 150 years.
"I'm a historian and philosopher, Joe's a biologist, and we collaborated," he said. "A lot of the articles in the volume reflect this interdisciplinary perspective. We have history, we have philosophy, we have religion, but we also have world-class biologists like Francisco Ayala, who's one of the leading, still-active evolutionary biologists today."Ayala is an evolutionary biologist and a former Dominican Priest who, much in the same vein as John Polkinghorne, Simon Conway-Morris and Francis Collins, simply argues that evolution is God's way of ordering the universe.
Sounds like a good coffee-table book to me.